Letters to the Editor for Nov. 15, 2011

Are school buses always needed?

I did not walk 10 miles in 5 feet of snow to get to school, but I did walk a mile through the stubble of a newly cut buckwheat field, and I did walk a mile to high school. With a 10-subject curriculum, I carried lots of books, heavy books.

I have been confounded at the treatment of the kids around here who apparently are not allowed to walk 50 feet. My street is flooded with buses in the mornings and afternoons. The grammar school is only 10 blocks away. The high school would require a ride, but we have C-Tran running that route only one block from here.

Why do we need school buses when the high cost of having them cuts out other programs?

Our street is narrow and has no sidewalk. I am told that we need school buses because it isn’t safe to walk on our street. After the bus has brought the children home, this is the same “unsafe” street that they walk on, ride their bikes on, use their skate boards on, play games on. Is there some magic that makes it unsafe in the mornings, but OK in the afternoons?

There are lots of school programs I think these kids need — and School Bus 101 is not one of them. My brother, the retired teacher says that he thinks bussing was one of the biggest mistakes school boards ever made. We were city kids. We walked blocks to school, crossing several main streets. There were no crossing guards; we were taught how to cross a street. These kids are like my dog, they think that cars are not going to hurt them. They walk into the streets listening to their radios, or texting with their heads down. They are vulnerable and don’t know it. They need to be acclimated to their environment as we were.

When you cross the road be it day or night; Beware of the dangers that loom in sight; Look to the left and look to the right and you’ll never ever get run over.

My teacher taught us that song early on.

If Gov. Gregoire thinks the money should go elsewhere – I am with her.

Marilyn Tyrrell, Washougal

Wind energy is not good in Gorge

The Whistling Ridge wind energy development proposal intends to construct up to 50 turbines on a 2,000-foot-high ridgeline adjacent to the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. These turbines would be visible from the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, the Historic Columbia River Highway, the town of White Salmon, all within the National Scenic area.

The Washington State Energy Site Evaluation Council recently recommended approval of this controversial project to Gov. Gregoire. I believe the Governor should deny this proposal since it clearly violates the scenic integrity of the Columbia Gorge.

Wind energy is good but not everywhere. This project would enrich a small group of people at the expense of damaging a natural resource that all of us enjoy. There are plenty of other wind energy projects in other locations. This one is not needed and should be prohibited.

Ray Witter, Camas

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